Friday brings another noteworthy opening day for Northern California anglers.
Pardee Lake opens to camping Thursday and fishing Friday after its winter closure. Gates will open Friday at 5 a.m. Fishing can start a half-hour before sunrise – 6:25 a.m.
Campground reservations are ahead of last year’s pace and crowds are expected each day of the President’s Weekend.
Pardee is a big fish lake. The record brown trout is 15.36 established in 2011. February and March is the peak time to chase big browns. Most are found between the dam and the mouth of the river or in the river arm. Firetiger Rapalas are a popular lure to draw out the browns.
The state record smallmouth, a 9.58 pounder, also was caught here. Kokanee fishing gets going in late April.
Most of the focus this weekend will be on rainbow trout. Two plants of 2,000 pounds each will go in before Friday.
Water is low – about 12 to 14 feet from spill – but there will be no problems getting boats in and out.
Rental boat reservations can be made beginning Thursday between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Rates are the same as last year. Entrance fee is $8.50 per car or $14 with a boat. Boat launch fee is $7.50. It’s $3.50 for kayaks, float tubes and canoes. A $4 fee is assessed for dogs. A fishing permit ($4) is required.
Information: (209) 772-2108
Pardee Lake Records
German Brown trout: 15.36 pounds (2011)
Smallmouth bass: 9.58 pounds (state record)
Largemouth bass: 13.25 pounds
Kokanee: 2.54 pounds
Catfish: 45.0 pounds
Rainbow trout: 13.05 pounds